MAINE CRAFT PORTLAND, a retail gallery + resource center in the historic Maine Charitable Mechanic Association (MCMA) building, known as Mechanic’s Hall, in downtown Portland, Maine. The new MCA space promotes craft in Maine through exhibitions and public programming, and directly benefits Maine craft artists through sales of their work.
Mechanic’s Hall, in the vibrant Arts District—across the street from Maine College of Art, blocks from the Portland Museum of Art, and home to an art supply store—is only made more ideal by the fact that the Mechanic’s mission dovetails with ours. MCMA programs and events will strengthen our efforts and income opportunities. Additionally, as a building tenant, MCA will have access to the Mechanic’s Hall library, ballroom and classroom spaces.
HISTORICAL BUILDING MEETS MODERN MAKERS MOVEMENT
The MCMA building was completed in 1859 and is on the National Historic Register. It served as Portland City Hall after the infamous city-wide fire of 1866. It also housed and served meals to Union troops during the Civil War. An entire wall of historical, floor-to-ceiling hardwood and glass cabinets will be a beautiful feature in the MCA retail space. Thankfully, the building’s historical preservation status has protected the cabinets through the various tenants and uses of the space. The cabinets will become a dominant display and aesthetic component of the MCA space. They were built in the late 1800’s for a jewelry retailer and now offer an exciting design challenge to incorporate with contemporary craft displays.
The Mechanic’s Hall retail space became available in January 2018. The MCA began a fundraising campaign in February to fund the project and signed the lease in April. The spring was spent renovating the space, hiring staff, ordering inventory and preparing for grand opening July 6th at the First Friday Art Walk!
The project is guided by the MCA strategic plan implemented in January 2017. Desired location, income potential and landlord have been carefully researched, considered and nurtured by the MCA Executive Director and Board of Directors.
EXPERIENCE AND SUCCESS
Since 2008 the MCA has operated the Center for Maine Craft, a retail gallery and resource space in West Gardiner, Maine. The Center grosses close to $600,000 annually by exhibiting and selling the work of 315+ Maine craft artists and makers. The experience managing this successful and impactful Center positions the MCA for success in our second location.
SUCCESSFUL CAPITAL CAMPAIGN
The MCA is raised $100,000 during our start-up capital to open the new space. On February 15, the Windgate Foundation announced a matching grant of $50,000. The MCA has received matching contributions from our amazing and supportive network of board members, arts supporters, foundations, Portland businesses, MCA members, friends and family.
MAINE CRAFT PORTLAND WAS MADE POSSIBLE THROUGH THESE GENEROUS CONTRIBUTIONS: THANK YOU
Windgate Foundation | Betterment Foundation | The City of Portland | Toodie & Gary Gulden | Caleb Johnson Studio | Shannon Richards | Sam Shaw | Susan Morris & Chip Newell | Judy Glickman Lauder | Mimi Dunn | Richard & Mary Howe | Lisa Pixley | Maine Charitable Mechanic Association | Amy Gulden & Randy Ramusack | Jim Brady | Carole & Alex Chanler | Loc Chanler & Sadie Bliss | Joan Sorensen | Kerry Grantham | Lynn Thompson | Tyler & Kat Gulden | Sue Bralove | Wendy & Jeff Laidlaw | R.M. Davis, Inc. | Adrienne Paiewonsky | Sandra Henderson | Dick Spencer | Christian & Peg Becksvoort | Clair Sandford | David & Clemmer Montague | Mary Campbell | Robert Diamante | Sallie Findley | Lisa Evans & Jeffrey Smith | Joyce Wethington-Knight | Lissa Hunter | Lynn Kneedler | Camden National Bank | Ayumi Horie | Kim Reid | Kathleen Goddu | Barbara Hopkins | Deborah Weiss | Joyce Schwaller | Alison Thibault | Peter Mills | Valerie Paul | Francine Rudoff | Ebenezer Akakpo | Andy Verzosa | Frank Carr | Mary Hodgkin | Donna D’Aquino | Kevin Derrick | Nancy Shor | Kari Radasch & Ian Anderson | Karen Gola | Alan Bradstreet | Douglas E. Wilson | Gayle J. Fraas | Michele Michael | Jake Hanin | Lynn Duryea | Cathy Heinz | Lisa & Scott Cylinder | Susan Horowitz | Carole Ann Fer & Ellen Weiske | Tim McCreight | Anonymous | John McVeigh | Deborah Gould | Kim Round | Marie Pallutto | Kris Lape | Mark Bell | Kim Bentley
Opening Celebration Sponsors
Maine Craft Distilling
Camden National Bank
Boda | Maryann Brennan Russell, RN | C&M Ceramics | Christine Caswell | Loc Chanler & Sadie Bliss | Tim Christensen | Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens | Lisa & Scott Cylinder | Lisa Evans & Jeffrey Smith | Whitney Gill | Tyler Gulden | Haystack Mountain School of Crafts | Caleb Johnson | Lazzari | Maine College of Art | Matchstick Communications | Nail Art | Mathew Newhall | Pretty Flowers Maine | Shannon Richards | Sail Maine | State Theater | Stone Mountain Arts Center | Taco Escobarr | The Ghost of Eli Phant | Tracy Johnson Fine Jewelry | Waterfront Concerts | Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts
FOR ARTISTS: SELLING YOUR WORK AT MAINE CRAFT PORTLAND
All work represented at Maine Craft Portland is made by current MCA members living in Maine. Our goal is for approximately 70% of the vendors to be different from our vendors at the Center for Maine Craft. Inventory is sold on both a consignment and wholesale basis. There was not a jury process for the first phase of ordering; but, once we have our feet under us a jury process will commence to attract and identify new vendors.
MAINE CHARITABLE MECHANIC ASSOCIATION
The Maine Charitable Mechanic Association was founded in 1815 as a social organization that promoted and supported the skilled trades—blacksmiths, coopers, carpenters, and more—and their practitioners. Its original members were master craftspeople and entrepreneurs and their apprentices. Today MCMA works to connect that history to the modern makers movement by providing social support and a place for knowledge sharing, particularly from the older generation to the younger generation.
The MCMA currently supports makers, members and the public with educational and other programming, and access to its historical library, ballroom and classrooms.
MAINE CRAFTS ASSOCIATION
MISSION: The Maine Crafts Association supports craft artists by providing educational, marketing and retail opportunities.
VISION: The Maine Crafts Association acts to strengthen individual craft artists, Maine communities, local economies, and the visitor experience by making Maine a national crafts destination.
MCA programming and events build community and enrich the lives of Mainers; this is achieved by connecting artists with the public, contributing to a creative and entrepreneurial Maine culture, and creating channels for artists to grow their business reach and increase their economic status. MCA has been steadfast in its advocacy for Maine craft artists and now provides professional support and opportunities for roughly 500 established and emerging artist members, as well as additional artists and outsiders who participate as non-members. MCA programs focus on providing opportunities in marketing and exhibitions, sales, business development, creative/artistic development, public education, peer networking and mentoring and professional branding. MCA’s reach and impact are enriched through varied and strong partnerships with institutions, businesses and organizations throughout Maine and nationally. MCA does not support one single demographic, but our efforts directly and indirectly support small businesses owned by women, new Mainers, minorities, low income individuals, emerging artists and other artists representing various sub sections of the population.
MCA’s budget derives from a combination of retail sales, exhibition sales, memberships fees, individual and corporate contributions, grants and program fees.